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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 November, 2004, 12:23 GMT
Ancient wood opens up to walkers
A woodland (generic)
A survey into what exists in the woodland has started
An ancient woodland - which provides a backdrop for a string of Bronze Age forts - is in the frontline in a new rural regeneration programme.

Long Wood, near Lampeter, is being opened up to walkers and horse riders in an aim to boost the local economy.

The development of the 124-hectare site is being funded by a 195,000 grant from Cydcoed/Woods for All.

The project is the brainchild of local residents and who have agreed to do most of the work.

Long Wood Community Woodland Group, set up in 2002, has signed a 10-year agreement with Forestry Commission Wales for joint management of the important site.

The grant money will also add to the range of activities available to schoolchildren, who already visit the wood with forest rangers.

Many people already visit the area to look round the bronze age sites, and making the wood more accessible will add to their enjoyment of the area
Dominic Driver of Cydcoed

"We aim to establish a permanent site within the woodland where children and other groups will be able to experience the forest, learn about bushcraft and develop lifeskills," said community group chairman Philip Swain.

"There is increasing interest in outdoor environmental education as part of the school curriculum throughout Wales and the rest of the UK.

"We want everyone to feel part of the wood and its future and we have had tremendous support from local groups and councils."

The first phase of the project is underway and includes a survey of the whole woodland to find out what it contains.

It will also examine the best ways of protecting and encouraging the native broadleaf flora.

"Many people already visit the area to look round the bronze age sites, and making the wood more accessible will add to their enjoyment of the area - and encourage them to stay longer and spend money in the area," said Dominic Driver of Cydcoed.

'Native species'

"Timber from the site - felled by local contractors - will provide a valuable resource for local craftsmen and the forest school will also provide work - as well as learning - opportunities.

"Thinning the conifers will help natural regeneration, with traditional oak, birch and beech gradually replacing the plantations in a carefully worked out programme of encouraging native species."

Forestry Commission Wales district manager Chris Edwards added: "We're very pleased to be involved with the local community helping them make the most of their local woodland.

"It's another example of how the commission is working in partnership with people to give them a greater say in how the nation's woods are managed."

Cydcoed - Woods for All - is a 16m Forestry Commission grant programme working for communities in the Objective One area of Wales.


SEE ALSO:
Ancient forest is auctioned off
20 Aug 04  |  Dorset
Cash boost for ancient woodland
20 May 04  |  Hereford/Worcs
Woodland fears over quarry plans
19 Mar 04  |  South East Wales
Ancient burial ground revitalised
20 Feb 03  |  England


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